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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Kerry Shephard, Qudsia Kalsoom, Ritika Gupta, Lorenz Probst, Paul Gannon, V. Santhakumar, Ifeanyi Glory Ndukwe and Tim Jowett

Higher education is uncertain which sustainability-related education targets should be sought and monitored. Accepting that something needs to be measurable to be…

Abstract

Purpose

Higher education is uncertain which sustainability-related education targets should be sought and monitored. Accepting that something needs to be measurable to be systematically improved, the authors explored how measures relate to potential targets. This paper aims to focus on dispositions to think critically (active open-minded thinking and fair-minded thinking in appraising reasoning) as measures and explored how they related to sustainability concern as an indicative educational target.

Design/methodology/approach

This research included the development and testing of research instruments (scales) that explored dispositions to critical thinking and sustainability concern. Authors researched these instruments within their own correspondence groups and tested them with university students and staff in Pakistan, the USA, Austria, India and New Zealand. The authors also asked a range of contextualising questions.

Findings

Respondents’ disposition to aspects of active, open-minded thinking and fair-minded thinking do predict their concern about facets of sustainability but their strength of religious belief was an important factor in these relationships and in their measurement.

Practical implications

This research demonstrates the complexity of monitoring dispositions to think critically and sustainability concern in educational systems, particularly in circumstances where the roles of religious beliefs are of interest; and suggests ways to address this complexity.

Originality/value

This research integrates and expands discourses on ESD and on critical thinking in diverse disciplines and cultures. It investigates measurement approaches and targets that could help higher education institutions to educate for sustainable development and to monitor their progress, in ways that are compatible with their culture and values.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Qudsia Kalsoom, Afifa Khanam and Uzma Quraishi

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention towards sustainability consciousness (SC) of pre-service teachers (student teachers) as their role is central in teaching…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention towards sustainability consciousness (SC) of pre-service teachers (student teachers) as their role is central in teaching for sustainable development. This paper investigated SC of the pre-service teachers in Pakistan and compared it with other undergraduate students in the country and with that of Swedish upper secondary students.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper used survey method using a tool developed by a group of Canadian researchers to measure knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards sustainable development. The instrument was later adapted by a group of Swedish researchers to measure SC. Study data came from 207 pre-service teachers and 154 undergraduate students studying humanities.

Findings

The paper reports that SC of the pre-service teachers in Pakistan is much lower than that of Swedish upper secondary students. Moreover, the paper indicates that the SC of pre-service teachers is not different from other undergraduate students in the country.

Practical implications

This paper establishes a baseline of SC of the final-year pre-service teachers enrolled in BEd (Honours) programme in Pakistan. Such a study is critical in the context when ESD is a missing element in teacher education in Pakistan. In the presence of such a baseline study, teacher education institutes and departments might review their curricula in terms of their focus on ESD and plan for initiatives to educate pre-service teachers for sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a broader debate on measuring SC of university students.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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